The Calculated Creative

Becoming a Creative Leader

The 6 Step Path to Career Growth

The path to success as a creative is challenging in a handful of different ways.

With one of the most difficult transformations coming from being both an employee AND a leader.

How can you ever be both at the same time?

Here’s a few key behaviors you can use to help you be great at both. Launching you into an entirely different level of your career:

1. Never bring problems

No matter what your position within the business…never bring problems alone. All it does is create more headaches for your coworkers and solidifies you as a constant complainer in their eyes. Even if it isn’t true.

You’ll never know everything, but bringing solutions to the table helps to start a productive conversation. And can reframe situations in which negative aspects of the work need to be surfaced.

By bringing forward even small solutions you’re able to consistently demonstrate your proactiveness. Yes, you called out a potential problem but you’ve also outlined how to work through it.

2. Be thorough

Everyone hated working with team members in school who did nothing to add to group projects. And working as an adult is no different.

So, do more than is required:
- Talk to more people
- Do more research
- Dig deeper into sources

In other words, be thorough. Try to find your gaps in knowledge and work to overcome them.

It takes practices but sets you above your group of peers.

3. Care about the little things

Instead of waiting on someone else to fix your errors (like most people do) simply do it yourself.

Become your own creator AND editor.

Demonstrate attention to detail. Train yourself to incorporate a proofing step where you make sure you didn’t miss any small spelling mistakes, incorrect colors, weird keyframes, etc.

This single action helps to show your level of competence. And further strengthens your relationship to your peers.

The more you can prove yourself here, the more opportunities will come your way.

4. Look beyond the near future

The world is a lot bigger than what you and your team can see. And theres more opportunity out there waiting to be acted on.

Looking over the horizon and trying to see what could be coming after your most recent project can help you to anticipate what’s coming.

Giving you time to plan and room to make adjustments without last minute scrambling.

It can also help to put your current difficulties into perspective. Making you a lot less reactionary in the process.

5. Do one thing not in your job description

Spend some time working on an entirely different idea. One that wasn’t outright given to you but one that you also know will have a positive effect on the trajectory of your work.

Even if it’s something small committing to this process can help you to diversify your view of not only your own job but also that of your immediate team members.

That other department might get on your very last nerve…but I can promise you that until you spend some time understanding their difficulties you have no idea what they go through on a daily basis.

6. Invest in yourself

If your company offers free educational resources…take them!

Not only will your company not mind but doing your own learning can have outsized affects on your actual day job over time. Benefit you 10x down the road.

Want to future-proof your career? Focus your energy here.

There you have it! A few different mental models to help you stand out.

Often times focusing on just one over an extended period of time can produce massive gains in salary and accompanying titles. Not to mention better, more exciting work.

Make Your Work
Suck Less

Pulling back the curtain on the creative process to help make your work a little less terrible. A 3-minute read delivered each week on Monday morning.

The Calculated Creative

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